Vertu Signature Dragon cellphone

Two days ago, I described Vertu's $20,000 cellphones as "resembling dragon poo." Today, it announced the Signature Dragon Commemorative Edition. [Luxury News via The Verge]

Update: Want to see a Vertu torn to pieces?


    1. I recognized it, too, and the top youtube comments all have something to do with Irene Adler. Which means that the design of these things is something I remembered from seeing them 5-odd years ago–and that means they successfully brand one as a rich jerk. It takes a lot of money to look that cheap.

  1. That is one million times as vulgar as the woman peeing out the bus window.  It looks like great aunt Agnes commissioned a combination TV remote, cigarette case and tampon holder and asked them to make it extra ‘oriental’.

    1. Spot on!  I was thinking it looked more like a plastic kid’s toy of an “executive wireless phone” from 15 years ago, but your description is much better.

      Although a million women peeing out of bus windows would be way more surreal than vulgar.

  2. Hmm, well I think this may only make sense in China, where cell-phone culture is quite different, and where cellphones are a much bigger status symbol.

    1. As soon as I saw gold + dragon, I thought “that settles it, the target market for this is China”.

    2. Although in China the status symbol would be the same as here, the iPhone, I’ll play along: You know who else would buy a tacky piece of crap like this?  The Mexican narcos! 

      There’s an impressive tequila shop in my town, with over 600 different brands.  One of them runs for around $1000 (one thousand dollars), with a 22k gold plaque on the bottle, reportedly the liquid inside is nothing special.

      Curious, I asked the guy at the counter if he had ever sold any.
      “As a matter of fact two of ’em, both to the same customer”.
      “Really?!!  Who would waste their money like that?”.
      “Well he’s behind bars now, so no harm in saying it was Such & Such”.

      A mid-level narco, picture Pauly Walnuts moving palettes of crank and cash.  Wearing a shiny silk shirt, drinking his $1000 mediocre tequila while talking on his dragon-plated Vertu phone.

  3. Well…there are worst things in the world.

    …like cancer or the death of a child

    but this is pretty bad.

  4. this is gaudy, but i could see the appeal if they toned down the … well, everything. i imagine you could make a really nice phone with a little bit of gold or silver plating/tone, some good black lacquer, etc.

          1. But therein lies the difference between the grande bourgeoisie and the petite bourgeoisie.

  5. This might have been kind of cool back in the 80’s, but today this is luxury only to people who have no idea what is available!

    1. I swear if Vertu branched out into gaudy brass and doohickeys instead of gaudy gold and a Dolph Lundgren / Patrick Nagel  design sense, they’d have a ready market in the SP community.  Just go 1880’s over 1980’s.

  6. “It’s getting to the point where it’s nearly impossible to buy a phone that’s NOT a smartphone. I don’t WANT a smartphone. I just want to buy a regular phone.”

    “Oh, really? How much ya willing to pay? “

  7. In the movie “Until the End of the World” (1991)…

    I seem to remember one of the characters using a cell phone in China that’s decorated with similar patterns (much earlier than small hand held cell phones where commonly available, as cell phones where bricks or bags then).

    There’s also an sequence that uses GPS far before GPS and voice command navigation were available in cars. 

    It also seems the movie has been edited down..but I remember I saw a long form of it on laserdisc in the early 90’s.

    1. The film was released in (significantly) different versions in Europe and the US.  I originally saw it in Europe and loved it.  Iwas very confused when I saw it in the US, as it cut some fairly important scenes.  The original version is a great (albeit long) film, but it loses a lot on the small screen.

  8. Just in time for Chinese New Year (it’ll be the year of the dragon) – they know their target market at least!

  9. I love these posts because I understand the intersect at which this buyer exists. The target for this phone is some one who is not of the class who would simply not be expected to call you from their cell phone under any circumstances, or whose cell phone is most likely issued by a government agency. Likewise, they are also not of the class who has never had to have contact with the world at large in the last 35 years and who therefore is doing well to use the 2002-era flip phone their last competent PA showed them the number for. They are not even the brilliant but somewhat out of touch savant who made a fortune off of the economic downturn. No, but there is definitely a certain set who are still catching up to the whole “post TV era” culture–who  have enough stale, underused, cash to buy this but who are also completely intimidated by the fact that they don’t understand why iPhones don’t work when they wear gloves and the fact that all those damned chavs do. 

    That, itself, is funny funny shit.

  10. Can you let it go? Yes, Vertu as a business model is nonsensical, but society is surrounded by such circumstances. $10,000 for a diamond ring? ok, yeah, whatever. $100,000,000 for a painting. again, whatever. 

    but seriously, three Vertu posts in a week?

    1. Crap technology wrapped in excessively pricy bling is ripe for derision.  Endlessly. 
      If it’s not your bag, no one is forcing you to keep coming back here.

  11. This is for the class of person who doesn’t have any use for a smartphone. They don’t need Siri because they have real flesh-and-bone PA’s, servants and punkawallahs (who probably have iPhones).

    What they need is a huge gold, jewel-encrusted brick of a phone so they can look intimidating while yelling orders into it.

    It also looks like they stole my discarded phone from 5 years ago, and gave it to someone doing evening classes in goldsmithing.

  12. This looks like a Scientology product. The price fits, too.
    The LRH Commemorative Intergalactic Communicator.

  13. I kinda like the way this one looks. It’s got some restraint instead of just WE COVERED THIS THING WITH DIAMONDS AND BLING.

    But I will stick to my Nexus One. Maybe I’ll put a sticker of a dragon on the back. Because dragons make anything at least 20% more awesome.

  14. Thorstein Veblen was, has always been on the spot. 

     A crappy phone inside a tacky case, selling for $20000… that’s two zeroes too many. But no worry. Whoever buys such a thing, along with a $2 million car and a $1000 tequila, is not buying said crap for what it does, but just to brag about their being able to blow a load of money, that they waste very conspicuously. As far as performance, durability or value rendered go, a similar good with a cost an order of magnitude (or two or three) smaller, in infinitely better taste, can always be found.

    1. Written with insight.  I’ve just remembered the derogatory term for just this sort of discussion:  nouveau riche.

      BTW, if you’re ever down in Mexico and want to try a most excellent, old-school tequila, legendary and hush-hush, it’ll set you back around $25 dollars, El Tesoro De Don Felipe, awesome family tequila that has yet to sell out, so far it looks like they never will!

      Go for the white, to taste the sweetness of the agave plant, contact with oak barrels needlessly masks the sincerity of a noble plant.  Relevant to the discussion, I’ll say it again:  twenty five US dollars.

      They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

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